This is a story of how one thing leads to another………….Today, for Jo’s Walk I am taking you to the village of Kinlet (population roughly 650) in the UK. Why here you ask? I have traced my ManyGreatsGrandmother, Elizabeth Corbin and the Roger Mortimer family (also my relation) back to this village and I wanted to come here because there is history of the family to be found in a manor house and church here. But, after driving down narrow country lanes, when I got to the location on the map, (that I was given before I left the US) the only place that was there was the Eagle & Serpent PUB…………Not one to be deterred, especially after coming from so far away, my hubby, my sister and I went in and ate a great cheeseburger with fries and asked, “oh, by the way, do you know where the church and Manor Hall of Kinlet is?” Their reply, “never heard of it.” But, they did give us directions to the Park House Care Home, just down the road and they said there would probably be an old person there, who would remember “stuff” we were looking for! So, we moved on to the Care Home…..
The next few photos are the countryside around the village of Kinlet…..on the way to the Care Home…….The Park House Care Home was a magnificent old building that had been updated to a home for the elderly…. I am sorry I do not have a photo of Park House, I was so nervous about going in and asking if I might speak to one of the older residents about the village, a person I did not know….. ……..But, we were given permission from one of the staff and introduced to a lovely elderly woman. AND she knew exactly what I was talking about and gave me the location!
She told us to go back to the PUB and across from the pub, I would find a big gate there on a gravel road. She said never mind the closed gate, just open it and drive about a mile up that road and I would find Kinlet Hall and the Church ………. So, we did as she instructed…….and went past this little out building……….
and past a lot of sheep……..
and more sheep that scurried out of our way……..somewhat…..
and found Kinlet Hall, which is now a private school………..so we went in………and talked to the head mistress……and she knew exactly what we were looking for. Her husband had written a history of Kinlet and the villagers, back to the beginning, and she offered me a copy and told us to go on over to the church next door…..
Kinlet Hall is an 18th-century, English country house. It is a Grade I listed building inspired by Villa Pisani, Montagnana. The manor was held by the Brampton and Cornwall families until it passed via his maternal ancestors to Humphrey Blount (my relative) of the Sodington Hall family. Humphrey Blount was the Sheriff of Shropshire, in 1461! It eventually passed to the daughter and heiress, who married Sir William Childe. The manor house was replaced in 1727 by William Lacon Childe, who created the Palladian style mansion. The east-facing, brick built, three-story building is flanked by two smaller detached, two-story blocks….the block to the north originally housed the stables and the block to the south the kitchens….. The Childe family were residents of Kinlet Hall until the 20th century. During WWII the house was occupied by the US Army and the family never returned.
To get to the church…………We had to go through this gate first…….I don’t know what you call it…….it allows one person to pass…at a time. The name Kinlet, is a combination of Kin (royal) and Lett (district) It comes from the time of Queen Edith of Wessex, wife of Edward the Confessor, who held the knoll at Kinlet. At the time of the writings of the Doomsday Book, Queen Edith had inherited Kinlet and Cleobury Mortimer. Kinlet then was given to Ranulph de Mortimer, who passed it to his son, Hugh de Mortimer. I am related to Hugh de Mortimer and one other person noted in this church. The Mortimers were passionate about hunting and used this area as their private hunting ground. That could also be why the Care Home is named the Park House….this area was at one time the estate of the King. The Mortimers gave the estate to Bryan de Brampton in 1176! So, my people have been here a long, long, long time…..The De Brampton’s gave the land to Wigmore Abbey. Today, the Moffats School (a private school for children 4-13) has been in Kinlet Hall since the end of WWII. No wonder the young people in the pub had no idea what I was talking about……. So way before Kinlet Manor was the fine country estate of the Childe family, my kin were here!
Here is St John’s Anglican Church……..located next to Kinlet Hall. The church is a stone structure built by the Normans and is listed Grade I, by the English Heritage folks. In the church are standing monuments to Sir George Blount and his wife, Constantia , dated 1581. There are also tombs for Sir Humphrey Blount and his wife, Elizabeth and Sir John Blount and his wife, Catherine. The church was restored in 1892 by John Oldrid Scott, who also designed the Memorial to Major Charles Balwyn Childe, who was killed in the Boar War in 1900. Let’s go in and see my relatives!
I thought I was looking for old, old, old graves in the graveyard when I came here……..but no……
There is always a clock…………
and something I had never seen before, a wagon casket carrier…….
I was surprised the church is still being used…….but only for marriages, I understand…….there were workmen there, the day we were there, working to repair the Rose window……There were also bouquets of fresh flowers…….they must have known we were coming! Ha ha!
Here are my relatives……….nice his and hers…….The Blounts…..one of the first knights, William…. who had at least four sons, all named William……and one daughter (well maybe more, but only Maria counted, because she married her cousin Sir Stephen Blount…….who went on …….
to more Blounts…….
and more Blounts……
and in the recorded history……Raoul le Blound, the Third Count of Guisne, had three sons, who came with William the Conqueror to take back England…..
and eventually………my MANY GGrandmother was Catherine Corbet, who married Sir John Blount, son of William, then Stephen, then Walter, then one of the three more John’s (the one that died in 1478)……..and that is why I came here………..
This is the family tree all the way down to the Childes…… My family went on down the Sodington family side…. Sir Walter de Sodington, the 7th Bart, and eventually the Mortimer family. One of the Mortimer girls married Sir John de La Leigh in Shropshire. John De La Leigh II was not the oldest son and did not inherit any property, so in the 1700’s came to the US, when we were a colony of the English. Eventually the name De La Leigh was changed to Lee. My grandmother was a Lee……..descended from all these folks…….which means I am as well! What a memorable visit and find this was…….and I documented it all!
I hope you have enjoyed the walk-through today and a little history as well! I may do another walk for you with my research finds through a scary forest in the UK! It was conducted on this same trip!
PS Kinlet Hall was placed for sale in 2020, probably due to COVID in some way. It was listed for £3.5 million. I wish I could have bought it!
If you would like to see where other folks are walking this week look for Jo’s Monday Walk